skip to Main Content

Obituary: Professor William Stewart Hillis OBE

Professor Stewart Hillis

Professor Stewart Hillis

Doctor to the Scottish football team. Born: September 28, 1943. Died: July 21, 2014.

Professor William Stewart Hillis OBE, who has died aged 70, had been looking forward to the Commonwealth Games more than most. He was one of the first doctors in the world to focus on sports science, the treatment and prevention of sports injuries using physiology, psychology, biomechanics and nutrition, and when he got into the discipline, it was revolutionary. Now it is considered essential by major athletes and will play a major role in the Glasgow Games.

Professor Hillis, who was emeritus professor of cardiology and exercise medicine at Glasgow University, was perhaps best-known to the Scottish public as the official doctor to the national football team over nearly four decades and 228 international first team matches, making him probably the longest-serving medic in inter­national football.

He worked with eight different managers/coaches, from Jock Stein to the incumbent Gordon Strachan, and was the first to treat Mr Stein when he suffered heart failure after a Wales-Scotland World Cup qualifier in Cardiff in September 1985 and later died.

Professor Hillis was a lifelong member and supporter of the Church of Scotland, serving as an elder at Abbotsford Church, Clydebank, which became linked with Dalmuir Barclay Church.

He was awarded an OBE by the Queen in the 2010 New Year’s honours list for his work in both sports and medicine, an unusual double-whammy that gave him immense pleasure.

• Full story at The Herald (may require registration).

Back To Top